Assessment Criteria

The Affordable Credit Challenge will support partnerships between UK community lenders and fintechs developing innovative technological solutions that serve to increase access to affordable, responsible credit. The Challenge is seeking to support a range of different solutions that demonstrate how technology can help achieve this goal.

The Judging Panel

The Judging Panel will make recommendations to HM Treasury for:

1. six partnerships to be selected as participating partnerships in October 2019; and

2. three Prize Winners from among the six participating partnerships in Spring 2020.

For (1), the Judging Panel will assess eligible applications (see the Eligibility Criteria) against these Assessment Criteria. For (2), the Judging Panel will assess participating partnerships against these Assessment Criteria, taking into account progress achieved by the partnerships during the Challenge.

Applicants should keep in mind that the Judging Panel will make forward-looking judgements. They will select partnerships to participate in the Challenge that they anticipate will make substantial progress – in absolute terms and relative to other applicants – against these Assessment Criteria between the time of application and the end of the Challenge and beyond.

The Judging Panel will assess applications in October 2019 and participating partnerships in Spring 2020 against three categories, with weights assigned to each:

  • Impact and Innovation
  • Technology, Capabilities and Commitment
  • Ongoing Commitment and Sustainability

1. Impact and Innovation

What will the impact be if the partnership’s proposed solution is delivered?

Weight October 2019: 40%

Weight Spring 2020: 33%

The Judging Panel will be looking for:

  • The impact that the partnership’s proposed solution will have on the participating community lender’s (or lenders’) ability to increase access to affordable, responsible credit.
  • How the proposed solution is innovative. The Judges will give preference to solutions that are new, new to the community lending sector, or constitute a significant improvement on existing practice in the sector. A guiding question for partnerships in relation to innovation is: what will the partnership’s solution demonstrate about the potential for technology in the community lending sector that is not already well established?
  • The wider relevance of the participating partnership’s innovation to other community lenders. The Judging Panel will give preference to solutions that could have wider relevance in the community lending sector, over solutions that are only narrowly relevant to the community lender(s) in the partnership. A guiding question for partnerships in relation to wider relevance is: could our solution in principle be adopted more widely by community lenders to increase access to affordable, responsible credit?

2. Technology, Capabilities and Commitment

Is the partnership likely to deliver its proposed solution?

Weight October 2019: 40%

Weight Spring 2020: 33%

The Judging Panel will be looking for:

  • Evidence that the proposed solution is technologically feasible and can be delivered, given for example the underlying technology currently used by the community lender(s) in the partnership.
  • The partnership’s capabilities (technical and otherwise) to deliver its proposed solution.
  • Evidence of the commitment and ability of the partnership to work together effectively to deliver its proposed solution.

3. Ongoing Commitment and Sustainability

Is the partnership’s solution likely to come to market and gain traction?

Weight October 2019: 20%

Weight Spring 2020: 33%

The Judging Panel will be looking for:

  • A credible plan for how the partnership’s solution could be sustainable (financially and otherwise) beyond the lifetime of the Challenge.
  • A clearly identified mechanism for the participating partnership’s solution to disseminate beyond the participating partnership to other community lenders, how far it could disseminate and the likelihood of this taking place.
  • The commitment of the partnership to continue developing, investing in and implementing its solution beyond the lifetime of the Challenge.
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